Spring/Summer Update 2017
Dear friends of Foyer Evangelique Orphanage,
Happy 4th of July! Summer is here, the warm weather has finally arrived in Vermont, and I have some news from Haiti to share with you!
Humphreys Family Trip
In March, I had the privilege of bringing my family to Haiti with me for the first time. It was incredible to share this place and these precious people with my husband Lester and my 9-year-old daughter Zoe, who have been a key part of my support team here at home in Vermont. It’s hard to put into words how meaningful it was for me to bring my family to Haiti, but hopefully these photos will give you a sense of the love and understanding that we shared:
Zoe made friends with the kids right away, and even though her French and Creole are very limited, she was able to make sweet connections with the kids, partiticulary 12-year-old Yoleine, who wrote Zoe a beautiful letter on the first day asking if Zoe would be her friend. They were inseparable from that point on!
Zoe brought along lots of activities to do with the kids, including making balloon animals, which she learned from our friend and HOST board member Chris Yerlig.
Here is a photo of Zoe and the kids all dressed up for church on Sunday.
My aunt Helen (on the left) came along on the trip as well. This was her second trip to Haiti - she first visited with me in 2014. She sponsors 2 older children at the orphanage, and everyone was thrilled to see her again!
My husband Lester spent a lot of time playing basketball with the kids, and he was very impressed with how athletic and coordinated the kids are, and how well they play together.
In addition to spending time at the orphanage, we also visited the beach while we were in Haiti, which was a first for me! It was beautiful, and I would recommend a beach vacation in Haiti for anyone who is looking for a low cost, interesting Caribbean get away.
We had a great trip, and Zoe can’t wait to go back and play with the kids at the orphanage again!
Window Project at Foyer Evangelique Orphanage
Last October our friends Noah Bean and Lyndsy Fonseca were married. In lieu of gifts, they asked for contributions to help the kids at Foyer Evangelique Orphanage. They raised over $4,500, and these funds were used to put shutters on all the dormitory windows at the orphanage so that the rooms will no longer flood during heavy rain storms. We arrived just as this project was being completed, so we were able to see the shutters in place and we’re happy to report that the kids have made it through the spring rainy season and everyone stayed dry thanks to these shutters! Wahoo!
Thank you, Noah and Lyndsy!!!
Trip to the Beach
In March, thanks to donations from several supporters, the kids were able to participate in their annual school field trip to the beach. For some of them, it was the first time in 2 years that they had been able to go to the beach. They had a great day!
Each year several of our supporters give special donations in honor of Easter. These contributions make it possible for an annual Easter celebration at the orphanage. The kids celebrated Easter this year with a feast and then they performed music and dancing for the community.
The Easter feast.
The community gathered together to watch the kids perform!
Celebrating Flag Day in Haiti
May 18 is Haitian Flag Day, and Pastor Duckens sent me these sweet photos of the kids during their Flag Day celebration:
May 7 Fundraising Extravaganza
We had a great event in May, featuring a clown performance by one of our sponsors, Kevin O’Keefe, followed by an evening of awesome dancing with the Boston-based Senegalese dance band M’bolo.
Here’s Kevin O’Keefe doing his awesome One-Man Circus-in-a-Suticase show. He had everyone laughing deep belly laughs!
Here’s M’Bolo getting ready for their sound check. They were a fantastic dance band, and we hope they’ll come to Brattleboro again soon! We didn’t get any photos during their show - everyone was too busy dancing and having fun!
The primary goal of this event was to introduce more people in our community to the work that we do at the orphanage and to find more sponsors for the children. In preparation for the brief talk that I gave at the event, I invited sponsors to send me a few words about why they sponsor, and I want to share some of these words with you now:
If my children were ever in a situation like this, I hope that there would be people who would sponsor them, and who would try to find ways to bring love, health, and connection into their lives. What a beautiful thing, that in the fractured world we live in, the kids at the orphanage feel not only the wonderful connections they clearly have with one another and with their caregivers there, but also feel a sense of genuine connection with people who live very far away and who might not even speak their languages.
- Deidra Razzaque
I support a lot of good causes but sponsoring a Foyer Evangelique child is incredibly meaningful because it's so personal - I know the face and needs of the person who benefits directly from the modest funds I provide. I feel enriched by being able to watch her grow and thrive in this remarkable orphanage, where there is such good care.
Giving to the Foyer Evangelique project and sponsoring our child there means so much to us. We can hardly imagine the day-to-day realities of people in Haiti - and especially what it must be like to grow up on this depleted island. We are grateful for such a solid opportunity to make a difference, and we have complete confidence in the priorities and deep caring of everyone involved who is shepherding these children to adulthood. THANK YOU!
- Kim Nace
It feels good to picture that situation down there and know that some kid stands a chance of having his body develop normally and sleep safely at night due the love and support that other brave people give to them with my support.
I have sponsored two children at the orphanage since the sponsorship program began, and it is rewarding to have a more personal connection, knowing the children’s names and stories, receiving updates, letters and drawings from them, lovingly translated by volunteers. The small amount that I send to sponsor them each month makes me keenly aware of how this ($150 per child) translates into their basic food and schooling needs.
The bulk of our support for the children comes from our sponsorship program. We currently have 46 sponsors who each give between $5-$300 per month, and we’re looking for more. The children think of their sponsors as their godparents, and we are building networks of godparents for each child to help provide for their basic needs and allow them to thrive. If you are interested in sponsoring, please let me know. Whether you are able to give $5 a month, $50 a month, or more, every little bit helps build a strong, stable foundation for these sweet kids. A full sponsorship is $150 per month, and we accept partial sponsorships starting at $5 per month. Here are a couple of children who are currently in need of partial sponsorships:
Yoleine Joachin was born October 11, 2003 in Croix des Bouquets. Her father died from AIDS and as such she has been an orphan since she was a small child. She came to the orphanage after the earthquake in 2010. She is currently (2016) in her sixth year of primary school. She is a great reader and she loves to dance. Yoleine needs $100/month to complete her sponsorship.
Wilfrid Jean was born February 4, 2005, in Shofa. He and his twin brother Wilgens were found abandoned in a church after the earthquake. Nothing is known about their parents or family. They have been at the orphanage since 2010. Wilfrid loves to play soccer. He needs $100/month to complete his sponsorship.
A few weeks ago, Pastor Duckens contacted me to let me know that their water pump had broken and they were struggling to get water to meet their needs for cooking, bathing, etc. Thanks to recent generous donations, we had funds on hand to respond promptly to this urgent need. I want to share this message and photos that Pastor Duckens sent to me:
On a beaucoup d'eau maintenant et les enfants sont joyeux de trouver de l’eau!
Translation: there is plenty of water now and the children are overjoyed to have water!
If you are receiving this email, it means that you have already donated money, time, emotional support, and/or other necessary items to the orphanage, and we are extremely grateful to all of you for your generosity. If you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, etc. of ways that we can be more effective in our efforts, please let us know. We love hearing from you.
To donate you can send tax-deductible checks made payable to "Trusteeship Institute - Haiti Orphanage" and mail them to:
36 Cedar Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Or donate online here:
We wish you all a very Happy 4th of July!
On behalf of the board of the Haiti Orphanage Sponsorship Trust and the children and staff of Foyer Evangelique Orphanage